19 October 2011
Not far from Takamatsu, also on the island of Shikoku, is the town of Kotohira which is best known as the location of the huge Konpira Shrine (officially called Kotohira-guu). This is another shrine whose origins are lost in the mists of antiquity. It is dedicated to the welfare of seafarers. It is also built up the side of a mountain, which makes visiting it rather strenuous.
To find the shrine you must walk down a street lined with religious-themed shops…
Interestingly the architecture looks more like a Buddhist temple than a traditional Shinto shrine.
This is because most of the buildings date back to a period when a shrine could serve as a temple or vice versa. The Meiji reforms of the late 19th century required that these functions be separated.
At the next level there are some more interesting things.
By the time I reached this little rest house I was feeling rather fed up. Common sense told me to go back before it started to get dark. But I have a stubborn streak that made me determined to see what is at the top.
I couldn’t resist buying an omamori in the shape of one of those dogs. There were no signs in English so I have no idea what it is supposed to do. Presumably it is supposed to provide some sort of protection.